Tharisa has chrome mines in South Africa. (Image courtesy of Tharisa).
South African miner Tharisa Plc, renewable energy independent power producer Total Eren, and Africa-focused transitional energy company Chariot signed a memorandum of understanding related to the development of a solar farm at the Tharisa PGM and chrome mine, located on South Africa’s Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex.
In detail, the MoU is a precursor to the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement for the supply of electricity on a take-or-pay basis. Prior to this, the partners will work on developing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the solar photovoltaic project.
The project is anticipated to initially provide a 40-Megawatt peak with demand expected to increase over the life of the Tharisa mine, adequately covering its current energy requirements.
In a press release, the parties involved said this project is part of Tharisa’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and become net-carbon neutral by 2050.
“Tharisa plays a significant part in the global energy transition movement, and we are committed to producing these key metals in a sustainable manner,” Tebogo Matsimela, head of ESG at Tharisa, said in the media brief. “The solar power solution provided by Total Eren is but one of several steps we are taking to ensure our flagship Tharisa Mine, which has a life of mine of over 50 years, has a reduced carbon footprint.”
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Tharisa produced 157.8 koz of PGMs in the fiscal year 2021 and 1.51 Mt of chrome concentrates. For 2022, production guidance is expected to be between 165 koz –175 koz of PGMs and 1.75 Mt – 1.85 Mt of chrome concentrates.